Wilco Freed From Reprise, Plans Short Tour
As tipped here last month, Chicago rock outfit Wilco has officially confirmed its split with Reprise Records after three studio albums. The band will retain the rights to the recently completed albumAs tipped here last month, Chicago rock outfit Wilco has officially confirmed its split with Reprise Records after three studio albums. The band will retain the rights to the recently completed album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"; frontman Jeff Tweedy arrives in New York today (Aug. 15) to begin fielding offers from an array of record labels with interest in releasing the set.
Sources confirm that when Wilco submitted "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" to Reprise, label executives requested the band make changes to the album. Feeling the set was fine as is, the band refused to make additional alterations, setting off a series of intense negotiations, exacerbated by the absence of Reprise president Howie Klein, who abruptly resigned in late June. Wilco eventually arranged to buy back the rights to the album and terminate its contract, which called for several additional releases.
Although "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," self-produced by the band and mixed by indie rock veteran Jim O'Rourke, remains under tight lock and key, O'Rourke refutes widespread rumors that the album would have spelled commercial suicide for Wilco. "There is major hit action on this record," he tells Billboard.com. "I'm serious. There is some serious fist-pumping. There are like four [songs] on there that are massively fist-pumping."
"It's closer to [the 1999 album] 'Summerteeth' than the first two, of course," O'Rourke continues. "Personally, I think it's better. I think 'Summerteeth' was a jump they need to make. But now they're in a territory that's a little more familiar for them. The arrangements are there because they really matter for that song. The studio is used a lot more than on the other albums."
As new label negotiations begin, Wilco has confirmed a handful of live performances this fall, kicking off Sept. 21 in Dallas and currently scheduled to run through an Oct. 6 show in St. Louis.
Here are Wilco's upcoming tour dates:
Sept. 21: Dallas (Gypsy Tea Room)
Sept. 22: Austin, Texas (Stubb's)
Sept. 23: New Orleans (House of Blues)
Sept. 24: Atlanta (Roxy Theatre)
Sept. 26: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
Sept. 27: New York (Town Hall)
Sept. 29: Philadelphia (Electric Factory)
Oct. 1: Boston (Avalon Ballroom)
Oct. 6: St. Louis, Mo. (Pageant)